Friday, October 10, 2008

Fancy (French) Fridays

Here's a little Français etiquette...

Friends may greet each other by lightly kissing on the cheeks, once on the left cheek and once on the right cheek (that's their left...not yours).

First names are reserved for family and close friends. Wait until invited before using someone's first name.

You are expected to say 'bonjour' or 'bonsoir' (good morning and good evening) with the title 'Monsieur' or 'Madame' when entering a shop and 'au revoir' (good-bye) when leaving.

If you live in an apartment building, it is polite to greet your neighbors with the same appellation.

When going into any establishment, it is presumptuous to assume that the person inside speaks English, although a majority of French start by saying something like, "Je parle seulement un petit français parce que je suis l'américain" (I only speak a little french because I'm an American). This lets them know that you have made the effort to speak their language and the French will appreciate that.

There are countries where they don't mind it if you walk up to them and start speaking English, in fact, they are proud of the fact that you know that they are educated in English, but France is not one of them.


Deanna said...

"...but France is not one of them." France may be a beautiful city, but I am not enamored with their people.

Janine said...

Deanna, when I visited Europe, there were very different feelings to every country I visited, including France, isn't it interesting that in such a small distance, such as the distance between England and France, things are so different? Fascinating!

Evenspor said...

This is great information. Thanks. I would think that just a basic knowledge like this of any country visited would greatly improve the experience.

hilltopper said...

cute blog, i attempted to say what you said to say and im not sure they wouldnt raise their french eyebrows and walk the other way thinking me a crazy lady speaking nonsense with a really bad accent.
no trips to paree in my forseeable future!